America's Splendid Little Wars: A Short History of U.S. Military Engagements: 1975-2000

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9780670032327: America's Splendid Little Wars: A Short History of U.S. Military Engagements: 1975-2000

Since the evacuation of Saigon in 1975, America has committed its forces to combat in more than a dozen military operations. In America's Splendid Little Wars, distinguished U.S. Naval Captain Peter Huchthausen explores the modern development of America's tradition of small wars. From the 1975 operation to recover the hijacked merchant ship SS Mayaguez in the Gulf of Siam to the 1999 "relief intervention" in Kosovo, Huchthausen presents an intimate history of each military engagement. Through eyewitness accounts, thorough research, and his unique insider perspective as an intelligence expert, he offers a fresh analysis of the Iranian hostage rescue attempt, the invasions of Grenada and Panama, the Gulf War, and the missions in Somalia and Bosnia.

This timely and riveting military history shows how America-now the world's sole remaining superpower-has enforced the global "Pax Americana" by developing and honing its military capability and making sophisticated use of the media and public sentiment.

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About the Author:

Captain Peter Huchthausen, U.S. Navy (retired), served as a Soviet naval analyst and submarine expert, and as a naval attaché in Yugoslavia, Romania, and Moscow. His many tours of duty included serving as a watch officer during the blockade of Cuba in 1962 and as commander of a patrol division on Vietnam's Mekong Delta in 1967. In addition to his writing, he is a consultant, most recently on the film K-19.

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America's Splendid Little Wars

Contents

Acknowledgments vii
List of Maps xi
Introduction xiii
part one Gerald R. Ford: Rebounding Against Piracy 1
Chapter 1. Recovering SS Mayaguez and the Fight on Koh Tang 3
part two James E. Carter, Jr.: Choosing Military Action 19
Chapter 2. America and Special Warfare 21
Chapter 3. The Hostage Rescue Attempt 27
part three Ronald W. Reagan: Lashing Out 43
Chapter 4. Intervention in Lebanon 45
Chapter 5. Intervention in Grenada 65
Chapter 6. Retaliatory Attacks on Libya 87
Chapter 7. Escort and Retaliation in the Persian Gulf 97
part four George H. W. Bush: Using a Big Stick 111
Chapter 8. Storming Panama 113
Chapter 9. The Gulf War: Desert Shield 127
Chapter 10. The Gulf War: Desert Storm 142
Chapter 11. The Rescue of the Kurds in Northern Iraq 152
part five Intervention in Somalia 159
Chapter 12. President Bush Responds to Starvation 161
Chapter 13. President Clinton Crosses the Mogadishu Line 170
part six William J. Clinton: On the Edge of the Balkans 183
Chapter 14. Intervention in Bosnia 185
Chapter 15. Intervention in Kosovo 212
Conclusions 219

Notes 221
Bibliography 231
Index 241

Maps

The Mayaguez Incident 2
The Persian Gulf Area, 1980s 26
Iran: The Delta Entry/Exit Plan, April 24–28, 1980 31
Lebanon, 1983 44
U.S. Sector, Beirut, October 1983 46
Grenada and the Caribbean 64
Grenada 77
Libya and the Gulf of Sidra, 1986 86
The Persian Gulf Area, 1980s 98
Military Installations in Panama 112
Objectives of Operation Just Cause 122
Expected Iraqi Avenues of Approach 138
Conduct of the Persian Gulf War 147
Somalia and Mogadishu 160
The Balkans 184

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